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Talk about a reversal of fortune. One day, you’re a successful businessperson we’ll call Alice to protect what’s left of your besieged identity. You’ve got a credit score that’s high in the Matterhorn regions of the 700s, savings cushy enough to give you that “bring-it-on” confidence about the future, and a pool of a retirement funds so flush, you can’t wait to cannonball into its welcoming depths.
The next day you discover you’ve taken out a mortgage on a property in a city you’ve never even visited, there are thousands of dollars of charges on your credit cards from businesses you’ve never heard of, and your once lofty credit score hit the slopes and is now perilously plunging beneath the contempt of even the most generous creditors.
What happened? Someone got access to some scrap of your financial data, just enough to convince the buying and selling universe that he’s you, Alice, or some Mrs. Hyde version of you who can’t seem to spend enough of your future away.
How to keep your data yours.
Once you’ve fallen into this black hole of financial data theft, it can often take years to get out. The good news is there are some specific best practices you can establish that will substantially reduce the likelihood you’ll ever be victimized.
One final word of warning: As popular as the cloud is for storage of the family’s photos, keeping your personal financial information there comes with an unnecessary level of risk. While encryption protections are usually provided, they are not immune to a skilled hacker’s attacks. Your hard drive, along with a back-up external drive, is likely to provide more peace of mind as a site for storing financial records, but you’ll also want to make sure access to your drives is password protected.
For our part as your banking partner, Emprise Bank is committed to the vigilant protection of your accounts from digital theft of any kind. Please contact us if we can ever be of any assistance with a question you have about the security of your financial data.